While John Wall contends he believes in his teammates, he has made no secret that the Wizards aren't good enough to come from behind even when playing teams with losing records.
After all, they’re 26-46 for a reason. The Wizards fell behind to the Orlando Magic on the road by double digits, came back to take the lead in the third quarter and then lost it again in a 97-92 defeat Friday.
“I knew I had to be more aggressive the way we got down quick. I didn't want the game to get out of hand,” said Wall, who had a game-high 35 points by taking a career-high 28 shots. “I tried to be aggressive in the right way.
“They did whatever they wanted . . . They won the game in the first half. We are not a great enough team to be able to pick it up in the second half to try to fight back and win the game. They got up 15 at one point and had a lot of confidence."
The Magic (19-54) have the second-worst record in the NBA, slightly ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats (17-55). The Wizards have lost to both in the last week but have wins at the Los Angeles Lakers and vs. Memphis Grizzlies in between.
Coach Randy Wittman chose his words carefully, but it’s clear he realizes theses are the games the Wizards must win when the opponent is far from elite.
“I can’t figure out how to get our team to come out against teams (like Orlando),” Wittman said. “They’d lost eight in a row, getting ready to go on a five-game road trip. We gave them confidence going into halftime by the way we play.”
Sunday, the Wizards have a chance to get it right. They play at home against another team without the best of records in the Toronto Raptors (27-45).
“It’s over and over again this year. We just go through the motions against teams like this,” Wittman said of playing down to the competition in Orlando. “It cost us how many games this year has it been? That’s what good teams do. We’re not a good team yet because we’re not doing it.”